“Someone brought in a live bird’s nest,” says Christina Patterson, President of The Thrift Store of Aspen, recalling some of the more colorful items donated to what may well be the nation’s nicest thrift store. From Bogner, to Postcard, to Prada and Gucci with tags still on, the well-known excess of Aspen often finds its way through the Thrift Store’s back door.
Aspen's breathtaking alpine backdrop is known to intoxicate, tempting visitors into staying in the Roaring Fork Valley much longer than originally anticipated. Many well-seasoned Aspenites call this geographical magnetism the "Curse of the Ute" and one of the reasons so many visitors-turned-residents have a difficult time returning to the rat race of their previous lives outside Colorado.
ASPEN, CO - I couldn't pin it down right away; the vague sense of atmospheric recognition. Then it struck like lightning--this was the cemetery I knew as a child. Before the fallacy was shattered by visiting a real one, I'd pictured dense thickets of thin barren trees, overgrown vegetation climbing weathered tombstones, and graves scattered randomly over rolling hills. I had long since abandoned such youthful horror-fantasies, accepting the unspectacular reality of bright green, organized, well kept scraps of flat land as the places we store our dead. Yet there I stood, in front of a place not so loosely resembling what I thought to be a laid to rest misconception, lost in rambling thought. My “Walking With the Dead” tour of Ute Cemetery was yet to begin.